HOUSTON -- Several times, while discussing Andrew Suarez's command issues, manager Bruce Bochy mentioned that the lefty is young. Bochy will be heartened, then, to know that Suarez is not too young to understand when you need to go back to the drawing board.
"I just wasn't very good today," the 25-year-old said quietly after an 11-2 loss to the Astros.
Suarez knows what the issue is. He missed repeatedly to his glove side, leaving fastballs and sliders across the heart of the plate against a tough and deep lineup. After giving up five runs in four innings, Suarez went to the film room. He's hoping to fix the mechanical flaw before his next start, a tough assignment at Coors Field.
"I'm jumping toward the plate instead of staying back," he said. "I'll keep looking at film and figure it out."
There wasn't much else for the Giants to look back at on the first of two tough nights in Houston. The bullpen was rocked, turning this one into a blowout, but even Suarez's damage would have been enough against Gerritt Cole. The longtime Pirate has taken the leap since a trade to the Astros, and the Giants managed just two runs off him in six innings. They came off the bat of Brandon Crawford, his brother-in-law, and the hottest hitter in the majors this month.
Crawford's shot went the opposite way in the fourth inning and landed in the appropriately named Crawford Boxes in left. He had taken a peak in at Cole after a bloop single early, but kept his head down on the homer. In the stands, his father stifled a grin as he recorded the action with his cell phone. Amy Cole, Brandon's sister, was sitting right there. Told that his father seemed to enjoy the moment, Brandon smiled.
"I'm sure he enjoyed that more than my sister," he said.